Number 11 on my bucket list this summer was to join a summer sports league.
I put it on my bucket list because I’ve never actually joined a recreational sports team for young professionals. I’ve seen many a group walking around sporting ZogSports or Chicago Sport and Social Club t-shirts… and really wanted one.
There are a host of excuses for why in the 6 years post college I have not yet participated. I’m busy. I’m a figure skater (i.e. not a soccer/football/baseball player). None of my friend groups have ever organized a team. Games are held in inconvenient locations. The last time I played football in fourth grade I was tackled and couldn’t feel my body for a bit. The other girls have more experience.
Basically, I’ve been too chicken-shit.
Time to amend this issue.
This summer I’ve joined a Chicago Sport and Social Club softball league with about 20 of my co-workers (read: public humiliation is even more fun when carried to the workplace).
And today was the first game.
Today was also, conveniently, the hottest day Chicago has seen this summer.
Let the shirt-soaking fun begin.
I took a cab found my way to the field and joined everyone for beers warm-ups.
I quickly found out that laying low wasn’t in the cards. Turns out league rules state that each team must have at least 4 girls on the team at all times, 4 girls in the outfield and must rotate a girl batter every two players. (I haven’t decided how I feel about this gender equality driven rule-book as of yet).
Either way…we had 5 girls. I had to woman-up and learn fast.
I started the game as the Center-fielder. By the grace of some guardian angel, the other team’s first line-up couldn’t hit a ball the size of a kickball had some trouble and struck out quickly. I had another beer with my teammates/coworkers and prepared to bat for the first time.
Everyone started to cheer me on as I went up. I swung once and missed and then got a walk to first. I was pretty psyched. We struck out shortly after, but I was starting to get the hang of it.
My next turn at center-fielder, I was the recipient of a giant welt on the side of my knee stopped a ball hurled straight towards me and was able to get it to the second-base in time to hear “out” called on the other team.
At some point during the game the other team started to kick our ass play really well.
Any judgment passed in the beginning of the game flew straight out the window (lesson learned). This team didn’t have matching uniforms, seemed disorganized and had one member with an artificial leg.
You’d think the score would have at least been close. NOPE. (I will refrain from divulging the actual score)
I’m pretty sure that bystanders couldn’t tell the difference though. We immediately began toasting and drinking beers on the field and continuing the hyper excitement of the past 2 hours.
After on-field drinks, we moved the matching t-shirt party to a local bar where we toasted to our next game.
Playing with a team of coworkers/friends/new team members at sunset on a summer day was Awesome.
Looking forward to next week’s game.